Cicely Tyson, Diana Ross To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images; George Pimentel/WireImage
Obama will give 21 recipients the nation’s highest civilian honor in a ceremony later this month.

The countdown to President Obama’s last day in office is fast approaching and his last Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony will take place this month.

Cicely Tyson, Diana Ross, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan made the 2016 list for a total of 21 recipients.

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, which is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

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"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor — it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better," said Obama in a statement. "From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."

Recipients spanned the sports, science, art, journalism, philanthropy, entertainment and leadership. 

The awards will be presented at the White House on Nov. 22.

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